Local News

Algonquin-based District 300 cancels school Monday due to staff COVID-19 cases

Not enough staff to teach classes or open schools, superintendent says

Algonquin-based Community School District 300 is photographed on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.

Students in Algonquin-based Community School District 300 will get an extra day of winter break Monday because the district canceled classes because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases among its staff.

In a message from Superintendent Susan Harkin posted to the district’s website, Harkin said student attendance was being canceled and the school day will be made up April 25, which was scheduled to be an emergency make-up day.

Classes are set to resume as scheduled Tuesday, she said. In a separate message last week before Sunday’s class cancellation notice, Harkin warned “the District has experienced a significant number of staff members testing positive for COVID-19” and that may not have enough staff members to teach classes or open schools.

“District staff will use Jan. 3 to better understand the Omicron variant’s full impact on staffing and student attendance,” Harkin said. “Additionally, we hope to receive clarification on the updated quarantine guidelines from the Illinois Department of [Public] Health and the Illinois State Board of Education based upon the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine guidelines.”

The CDC last month shortened its isolation recommendations for people testing positive for COVID-19.

Now, instead of a 10-day isolation period, the CDC suggests positive cases isolate five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving without fever for 24 hours, that should be followed by five days of wearing a mask around others to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Friday that the new shortened quarantines does not apply to school districts, noting it expects updated guidance from the CDC regarding schools in the near future.